Right off the bat I need to get something out of the way: I LOVED this movie.
Set mostly in a small town just outside of Galway, Ireland, this movie captured so much nuance into the various levels of the multiple subcultures at play - the Irish Cop, the Irish people, cops in general.
Cynical Gerry Boyle (played by Brenden Gleeson, recognizable as the lovable Sheriff from LAKE PLACID) plays a small town cop who gets thrust into an international drug investigation. This movie toys with the tropes of such cop movies with subtle, and sometimes dark, humor. Boyle is at times more one of us, sitting in the audience, making fun of the action, cop and cop-buddy cliches and yet this movie also manages to capture serious texture.
Also present is Don Cheadle, one of my favorite actors. And, rest assured, he's not sporting a fake accent
in this one.
Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, funny, interesting soundtrack and well paced: I highly recommend THE GUARD.
Gotta go with 4.5 / 5.